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Tarde’s disregarded contribution to social innovation theory building

Jürgen Howaldt, Ralf Kopp, Michael Schwarz published an article about Gabriel Tarde (French sociologist 1843-1904) and the potential of his theory in context of social innovation.

tarde Intensified study of the subject of social innovation – which has been largely practice-driven – has revealed conceptual weaknesses which in turn demand a deeper (continued) social-theoretical foundation of social innovations as an independent innovation type within a microfoundation of the social realm. To this end, this article attempts to use the social-theoretical approach of Gabriel Tarde as a scientific conception of active social life to aid the analytical identification and classi-fication of social innovations and the development of a corresponding scientific and social policy perspective. With recourse to Gabriel Tarde’s microsociological and practical sociological agenda, it can be shown that and how social innovations change social practice, thus becoming the actual drivers of transformative social change, and what requirements result from this today for social practice and (innovation) policy.

This article is published online under the title Social innovations as drivers of social change – Tarde’s disregarded contribution to social innovation theory building


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